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Engagement Blogging: 3 Easy Steps to Bring Members to Your Blog

How is your organization’s blog doing lately? The task of growing or revitalizing a blog can be daunting. The good news: you already have the resources and steps at your disposal; it just takes a little time and coordination to collect, write and engage.

Some common blogging myths are still spooking us, but we need to go back to basics. You don’t need every industry expert guest blogging for you. You shouldn’t worry about posts being too short, too long, too similar to last year’s post or too boring to share. Your primary blogging concerns are: is it useful for members, and is it easy for members to find?

Let’s go through three easy steps to improve your blogging process and path to engagement.

Take advantage of your resources

You already have a cache of information that is useful to your members – that’s why they deem membership and renewal worthy in the first place. If you’re sitting in front of your screen wondering, “But what do I write about?” then you’re focused on the wrong process. Take the guides, articles and the discussions your members are already having, and repurpose those into useful and engaging posts that offer (and ask for) advice.

Make a topic list and stick to it

There’s a difference between having a lot of resources you can repurpose, and having those resources organized. Are you a fan of keeping a desk dotted with sticky notes? Do you maintain a shared calendar with your team so everyone sticks to deadlines?

At Higher Logic, we like to get together for regular blog brainstorming sessions – this is a check-in on what’s already in the queue, but also a time to encourage different ideas and a few conversation rabbit-holes. We take each brainstorming session and add notes to both a topic list and our editorial calendar.

Share your blog posts, everywhere

You could have the best post on membership renewal tips or improving email communications with your constituency – it won’t matter if it’s not easy to find. We all dream of the day when our organization’s blog garners so much organic traffic that we’re bursting with comments, shares and impressive website analytics.

In reality, most of us are working hard every day to simply create, curate and post in a few common places. But a healthy blog can only grow if it’s accessible through multiple channels.

Try the tactics below:

  • Subscriber emails: If you have a marketing automation tool or email automation in an online community, set up a few rules to send new posts out to subscribers daily, weekly or in real time. This brings your great content right to members’ inboxes.
  • Scheduled posts in social media: Social channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be time consuming, but the exposure and sharing it brings to your blog is useful. Try scheduling a few tweets per day or week for each blog post (scheduling tools like Hootsuite do the trick). Highlight your favorite blog in a Facebook post (no tool needed – Facebook lets you schedule posts in advance). Planning ahead will free up your time for more blog brainstorming.
  • Link across platforms: Is your blogging platform separate from your website? Do most of your members spend their time in your online community, a popular social channel or even in-person events? Make sure your blog posts are visible across all platforms. Add links and buttons that are easy to find in the most trafficked areas for members.

Engagement Blogging: 3 Easy Steps to Bring Members to Your Blog

How is your organization’s blog doing lately? The task of growing or revitalizing a blog can be daunting. The good news: you already have the resources and steps at your disposal; it just takes a little time and coordination to collect, write and engage.

Some common blogging myths are still spooking us, but we need to go back to basics. You don’t need every industry expert guest blogging for you. You shouldn’t worry about posts being too short, too long, too similar to last year’s post or too boring to share. Your primary blogging concerns are: is it useful for members, and is it easy for members to find?

Let’s go through three easy steps to improve your blogging process and path to engagement.

Take advantage of your resources

You already have a cache of information that is useful to your members – that’s why they deem membership and renewal worthy in the first place. If you’re sitting in front of your screen wondering, “But what do I write about?” then you’re focused on the wrong process. Take the guides, articles and the discussions your members are already having, and repurpose those into useful and engaging posts that offer (and ask for) advice.

Make a topic list and stick to it

There’s a difference between having a lot of resources you can repurpose, and having those resources organized. Are you a fan of keeping a desk dotted with sticky notes? Do you maintain a shared calendar with your team so everyone sticks to deadlines?

At Higher Logic, we like to get together for regular blog brainstorming sessions – this is a check-in on what’s already in the queue, but also a time to encourage different ideas and a few conversation rabbit-holes. We take each brainstorming session and add notes to both a topic list and our editorial calendar.

Share your blog posts, everywhere

You could have the best post on membership renewal tips or improving email communications with your constituency – it won’t matter if it’s not easy to find. We all dream of the day when our organization’s blog garners so much organic traffic that we’re bursting with comments, shares and impressive website analytics.

In reality, most of us are working hard every day to simply create, curate and post in a few common places. But a healthy blog can only grow if it’s accessible through multiple channels.

Try the tactics below:

  • Subscriber emails: If you have a marketing automation tool or email automation in an online community, set up a few rules to send new posts out to subscribers daily, weekly or in real time. This brings your great content right to members’ inboxes.
  • Scheduled posts in social media: Social channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be time consuming, but the exposure and sharing it brings to your blog is useful. Try scheduling a few tweets per day or week for each blog post (scheduling tools like Hootsuite do the trick). Highlight your favorite blog in a Facebook post (no tool needed – Facebook lets you schedule posts in advance). Planning ahead will free up your time for more blog brainstorming.
  • Link across platforms: Is your blogging platform separate from your website? Do most of your members spend their time in your online community, a popular social channel or even in-person events? Make sure your blog posts are visible across all platforms. Add links and buttons that are easy to find in the most trafficked areas for members.

Caitlin McDonnell Struhs

Caitlin McDonnell Struhs is lead writer and content marketer for Higher Logic, an industry-leader in cloud-based community platforms for associations and nonprofits. She manages the marketing and sales content calendar while overseeing the content creation, editing and blogging for all marketing channels. Higher Logic includes over 25 million engaged members in more than 200,000 communities. Organizations worldwide use Higher Logic to bring like-minded people all together, by giving their community a home where they can meet, share ideas, answer questions and stay energized.